Started on: 5.November.2015
Finished on: 14.November.2015
Finished on: 14.November.2015
Title : See Me
Author : Nicholas Sparks
Author : Nicholas Sparks
Publisher : Grand Central Publishing
Pages : 486 pages / pages (e-book)
Year of Publication : 2015
Price : Rp 252,000 (www.periplus.com)
"He wanted to see how they would act before tension began to infect their sweet happy family... before the fear took hold. Before their lives were slowly—and then furiously—brought to ruin.Colin Hancock has a dark past that involved a lot of anger and violence in his life. Now Colin has been given a second chance to fix everything and avoid getting into prison, but he has to stay out of trouble and not do even a small mistake. At the age of twenty-eight, Colin is determined to pursue a career as a third grade teacher so he's currently taking a teaching degree whilst working part-time at the bar. Colin even trained himself as an MMA fighter to channel the anger and violence out of his body. He then met Maria Sanchez, a daughter of Mexican immigrants who works at a prestigious firm in Wilmington. She's got her whole life together even though she doesn't seem to have much luck in terms of love. And a girl like Maria would never have imagine to ever befriend a guy with a past like Colin's; but surprisingly, she found herself enjoying his company.
He'd come here, after all, for a purpose, and that purpose had a name.
Its name was vengeance."
"What did she want with him, anyway? Colin was the kind of guy she used to prosecute. Until yesterday, had anyone even suggested that she go out with a guy with his past, she would have laughed aloud or—more likely—been offended."They met on a fateful rainy-night when Maria's car broke down and Colin happened to be passing by with a bruised and bloodied face. When he saw that she was having difficulty, Colin offered to help even though Maria was too frightened by Colin's bloodied appearance. Soon after, Maria's sister, Serena, took her to a bar where Colin worked because she thought Maria should express her gratitude for the previous night. It turns out that Serena had several classes together with Colin and instantly recognized his hurt-face from Maria's story. Hesitant at first, Maria ended up chatting with Colin and got to know him better. Colin was being completely honest with his past and situation, which led Maria to tell him her dark past as well. Little did they know, their dark past and fears will soon come back to haunt their lives.
"Sitting across from her, Colin had the strange feeling that he was living someone else's blessed life, someone more deserving than he. And by the end of dinner, after all the dishes had been cleared and the wineglasses emptied and the candles were flickering out, it dawned on him that he'd spent his entire life searching for Maria, and only recently been lucky enough to find her."
|image source: here. edited by me.|
When I started this book, the prologue instantly intrigued me because the story has something to do with vengeance. The story is written in third person point of view from the perspective of the two main characters: Colin and Maria. It starts off with Colin's story after he had an MMA fight against a marine, which caused his face to be extremely bruised and bloodied. On the way back, Colin met Maria for the first time—in which she was completely frightened by his appearance. As they met for the second time, when Colin's face is a lot more bearable to look at, Colin and Maria got to know each others' dark past. The first part of the story focused on building up their relationship and chemistry, which is super adorable and kept me smiling at all the cuteness. The main conflict of this book slowly creeps in, giving this book a sense of mystery / thriller into the story. Problems arises as Colin's anger was triggered and Maria is being haunted by her past. The second half of the book focuses on figuring out the mystery, which kind of dragged at some parts, but got intensified towards the ending. I was constantly following the characters' train of thoughts and was utterly surprised by the revelation at the end. I'm pretty sure it might be predictable for some people, but it was pretty unexpected for me. Even though I'm not going to spoil anything about the ending, I'd have to say that I was constantly worried about Nicholas Sparks killing off my favorite characters ㅠㅠ If you've read Nicholas Sparks' books in the past, you'll know what I mean. But let me give you this little spoiler to ease your hearts because this time Nicholas Sparks provided us with a happy ending. I'm so relieved when the book ended, but at the same time missing the bittersweet endings that has always been Nicholas Sparks' trademark :')
"Love makes everything complicated, and emotions always go wild in the beginning. But when it's real, you should hold on tight, because we're both old enough to know that true love doesn't come along all that often."The best part of this book for me is the characters. I love them all and it's really hard for me to pick one as a favorite. Maybe Colin Hancock is my favorite character, because his personality and straightforwardness is really refreshing. I absolutely love his honesty and the way he thinks. As Maria fell in love with Colin, I think I'm also falling for him at the same time. At first Colin kind of intimidated me because his characters is described as a muscular man with a lot of tattoos; but in the end his personality wins me over. I don't think anyone can deny his charms. He's a sweet gentle person and I really couldn't imagine him as the violent and angry person that he was in the past. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Colin :)♥
"Okay.""Just 'okay'?" The corners of her mouth turned up."It's my go-to phrase when someone makes a statement instead of asking a question.""You don't care what other people think about you?""To a certain extent I do. Everyone does. But if you're going to make a judgement about me, then you need to know who I really am, not just the part I decide to tell you. I'd rather be honest about all of it and let you make the call as to whether you want to keep talking to me or not."
"I think you care deeply about the way you come across to other people, but to me, that's a mistake. In the end, the only one you can ever really please is yourself. How others feel is up to them."
“I think you can do whatever you want. In the end, we all live the life we choose for ourselves.”
My other favorites are actually all the side characters: Serena—Maria's sister, Evan—Colin's best friend, and Lily—Evan's fiancée, who's also Colin's best friend. Evan is a really good friend who has accepted Colin for who he really is. He's genuinely a good person and I'm really glad Colin has someone like Evan in his life. Same thing goes to Lily, who's a very caring person and always happily helps other people. Serena's cheerful character constantly brought smile to my face and I really like her advice for Maria, especially this one that I quoted below ↓↓↓↓ These characters are just so lovable and easy to like :) <3
"I saw a side of Colin that I didn't like.
"So what? Do you think that Mom hasn't seen a side of Dad that she doesn't like? Or vice versa? I've seen a side of you that I don't like, but I didn't shut you out of my life."
This book is slightly different from Nicholas Sparks' usual stories because it's not just pure romance, there's a mix of mystery and thriller in it as well. I really enjoyed the story from beginning to end; the chemistry between Colin and Maria is just plain adorable, and like I said earlier, I love all the characters in it. I was debating whether to give this book a 5 or a 4.5 at the end; because the story moved in a slower pace at some parts with not much development going on. I would totally give the characters a 5/5; but plot-wise, I decided to just give it a 4.5. Nevertheless, I will always devour anything that Nicholas Sparks writes in the future. Looking forward to see his next work and anticipating his newest movie adaptation as well :)))
"Probably not, but then again, Colin wasn't like most people. He accepted himself, faults and all, and forgave himself for the mistakes he'd made. More than that, he seemed to live in the moment without regard for either the past or the future."
"While his answers had left her spinning at times, she had to admit that his here's the real me and you can either accept me or not shtick was refreshing."